Picking the best tumble dryer for you is no easy task, there are so many out there, all of which will be able to speed up the time it takes to do your laundry. Buying one will make a busy household a much more efficient one, a blessing in the summer months when we're all spending a lot more time out of the house. If you choose the right tumble dryer, your clothes will be luxuriant to the touch as well. Now is the time to reclaim space from the tyranny of laundry and indulge in a tumble dryer.
Not sure which way to turn? No problem because we’ve done all the research for you and selected a tranche of great machines that come highly recommended by both users and pros. To be clear, these are all tumble-only options – made to pair with one of the best washing machines. We're not including washer dryers… but we do have a list of the best washer dryers if you need it.
Before we walk you through the best tumble dryers, you probably want to know how much one of these little beauties is going to set you back. Well, not as much as you might think at this time of year.
What is the best tumble dryer?
If your budget can stretch to it, the Bosch Serie 6 WTWH7660GB is our pick of the tumble dryers, thanks to its extremely efficient heat pump system, its great range of drying options, and its quiet running. It's a great investment in a machine that you'll be happy with for years.
Not everyone will be willing to spend so much, in which case the Beko DTGV7000W is our favourite of the low-priced options. It's also more compact than most, making it great for smaller spaces.
The best tumble dryers to buy
If you’re after a cost-efficient yet outstanding tumble dryer, the Bosch Serie 6 will give you peace of mind. It’s a heat pump tumble dryer that operates at lower temperatures, so is much gentler on fabrics.
Its generous 9kg drum capacity is sufficient for a medium-large household and boasts an interior LED light, which is always helpful to see your laundry tumbling around. Other handy features include the clever AutoDry, that measures the temperature and how wet your clothes are to provide a more even dry. What’s more, it has a crease-free feature that ensures soft laundry and towels each time.
In addition, it has a vast array of programmes you’ll ever need. Ranging from standard, cotton care to special ones for delicates or sportswear. Plus, if you’re in a hurry, it has a Quick 40-minute programme that uses a higher temperature to quickly dry clothes if you ever have a small load or a favourite item of clothing! And with its Wi-Fi connectivity, you can adjust settings from your phone.
With its impressive A++ rating, it’s energy-efficient, saving your households bills from rising in the long-run. Best of all, it has a noise level of 64db, which means it’s incredibly quiet, so you can enjoy your Netflix binges in peace!
Bear in mind, it does take longer to dry, being a heat pump dryer. However, it dries the clothes incredibly well, which is perfect for large or busy households.
If you’re short on space, but need a high-performance dryer, the Beko vented tumble dryer is an excellent choice. Bear in mind, you’d need an outlet through to an outside wall to vent outdoors, but at least there is no water reservoir to empty afterwards. In addition,
you won’t get the inconvenience of condensation build-up in a compact space.
Designed to be space-saving, it certainly doesn’t compromise on spec with its whopping 15 programmes. Timed programmes range from Cotton Iron Dry and Synthetics Cupboard Dry to Jeans and Hygiene, ideal for baby clothes.
It’s equipped with automatic drying sensors to stop the cycle once it’s completely dry. What’s more, if you’re always on the go and don’t have time to unload your laundry, this dryer will periodically rotate the drum for up to two hours after each cycle. This will ensure crease-free clothing (so you’ll never have to iron!). Other impressive features include a handy LED dryness indicator light which is always handy, and a child safety feature.
Granted, it’s not the most attractive, with a basic-looking control panel and rather flimsy door catch. However, the performance and sheer number of programmes more than make up for it.
If you're looking for a premium tumble dryer, this Miele TSH783WP heat pump dryer ticks all the right boxes. It uses heat pump technology, which uses up to 50% less energy than a traditional condenser dryer. It has a sensor-controlled drying system that automatically works out the best temperature and time to ensure not a moment or a bit of energy is wasted.
Heat pump dryers tend to be less crease-inducing than condenser ones, and that's the case here. And this model has a whopping 9kg capacity, which is more than enough for even the biggest, most outdoorsy family or group. There's also Wi-Fi compatibility enabling you to control and monitor the programme from wherever you are instead of having to physically go and check on your dryer load's progress.
Miele has an enviable reputation for high quality and longevity, and while this dryer is at the more expensive end of the market it's built to an extremely high standard and delivers great results. That reduced energy consumption is going to be increasingly important in the coming years too, making it a smart buy as well as a smart appliance.
If you’re after high performance at a low cost, the Hotpoint condenser dryer offers great value for money. It has a sufficient 8kg capacity drum and equipped with a handy optimal temperature thermostat to protect your clothes from overdrying. What’s more, this will save you on energy bills and is more cost-effective.
Considering its low price, it does offer some impressive features. Cycles include easy iron delicates, and sports cycle. There is also a handy temperature boost with hygiene option to remove 99.9% bacteria. This is ideal for families with small children or allergy sufferers.
For added convenience, it has a 20-minute, quick cycle if you don’t fancy waiting for your items to dry. What’s more, it’s very quiet compared to others which is a bonus.
This condenser dryer has a fuss-free, water container that you simply remove and empty after each cycle, making it easy to maintain. While it’s not the most stylish in appearance, it does have a handy, digital display. But if you can overlook the lack of aesthetic appeal, this excellent dryer will get the job done.
For those who prefer heat pump dryers for their energy efficiency and low-cost running, this offers excellent features. The main feature here is the smart AbsoluteCare, which offers tailored drying for each item. This adjusts the temperature and drum speed accordingly for different fabrics, including wool and handwash item. This is perfect for saving your delicates from shrinkage (and fitting a toddler!). It also has advanced temperature and humidity sensors to protect your clothing from wear and tear. What’s more, it has special programmes including Duvet, Silk and Sports which are always handy.
On the outset, it looks sleek and attractive with a neat LCD control display and has a reversible door hinge. The only downside is the tinted drum window, meaning you can’t see your laundry tumbling around inside the dryer. However, this is a minor issue considering it has a generous 9kg capacity.
It’s worthwhile noting, since it’s a heat pump dryer and designed to dry at lower temperatures, it will take longer to dry. It’s also quite expensive, however, more energy-saving and cost-effective in the long-run. In any case, it’s a great pick for large families or households knee deep in laundry!
For those running a big household and strapped for time, this Hoover H-Dry 300 will do all the hard work. Equipped with a generous 10kg capacity, this will accommodate large loads (apparently 50 T-shirts!), and handle bed linen with ease. Perfect for large families who could benefit from the extra room. In fact, it is family-friendly with a safety child lock for peace of mind.
Its top performance is thanks to handy features such as Sensor Dry that prevents overdrying, and with four sensor drying levels, this results in completely dry and crease-free laundry. It comes with an impressive 15 programmes ranging from Delicates and Shirts to Cupboard Dry cycle. It also has a half-load feature, ideal for smaller loads, without using up a lot of energy. Best of all, it has a handy Wi-fi option to help you control your cycles at the touch of a button on your smartphone.
Considering all it has to offer, it doesn’t break the bank. The downsides are though, it is rather loud and not the most energy efficient. However, if you can compromise the noise for quality results, this dryer is a winner!
As far as vented tumble dryers go, this dryer offers top performance and so much more. With a roomy 9kg capacity, it has an extra-large door for easy access. Special features include four drying sensors for tailored drying, timed options and Smart Touch to allow start or pause cycles via an android device. Convenient for those always on the move or have busy lifestyles.
The main benefit of a vented dryer is the hose that expels moisture outside to prevent condensation build-up in the room. This is handy if you go through heaps of laundry, and don’t want an internal water reservoir to keep emptying. Of course, you do need a suitable place to install dryer into an outside wall.
More importantly, when it comes to drying performance, it has a whopping, 19 programmes. This includes anti-allergy, baby, jeans, hangar dry, wardrobe dry, amongst others. In fact, you’ll probably find a programme for just about any item!
Those who enjoy watching their drying may be a little disappointed, since it has no window. However, it has a sleek LED display which makes it somewhat stylish and streamlined. Another thing to bear in mind is the Smart function is not compatible with iPhones, which may be a disadvantage for users. However, this isn’t a real deal-breaker as the excellent results speak for themselves.
How we test tumble dryers
With few exceptions, we rate tumble dryers based on reputable user reviews and our industry knowledge – ie: we narrow the field to the best brands, who we know deliver quality. We do not lab test tumble dryers and as such make no specific claims for their safety or longevity. However, the wealth of user reviews available online mean it should be easy to filter out duff models.
Want to know more? Discover how we test at T3.
How to buy the best tumble dryer: what you need to know
There have long been two types of dryer: condenser and vented. Condenser dryers are the most popular and the easiest to install. They work by condensing the moisture collected during the hot air drying process and porting it as water to a removable container that requires regular emptying, usually after every drying cycle.
Some condenser dryers can be a wee bit steamy, so it would be advisable to have a window open while it tumbles its tumbling thing. Or, if matters become more critical, invest in one of the best dehumidifiers.
Vented machines are cheaper to buy and use the same hot-air drying process. However, instead of using a water container, the moisture is pumped directly out into the open air via either an outlet positioned precisely for that task (in newer builds) or via what can only be described as a dirty great hole drilled into the outside wall, for older domiciles.
Obviously, this system can require professional installation and a particular location area near an electricity outlet. However, it does have two major plusses: you never have to empty a water tank and the walls of your utility room will remain pleasingly un-moist.
We have a complete condenser vs vented tumble dryer guide, if you want to read more about their differences.
Nowadays, those seeking the cutting-edge of tumbler tech should look for a heat pump machine. These re-circulate warm air, saving energy and hence cost. Which is just as well, as you'll need to save up to buy one – read our 'Are heat pump dryers worth the cost?' guide for more on their pros and cons.
Most modern tumble dryers are automatic; that is to say they use sensors that measure the amount of moisture in the clothing and switch off once they’re dry. And gone are the days when dryers were power drains – most of these are expert energy-conservers.
It's important to clear the lint filters of tumble dryers, but the most important thing when buying a tumble dryer is to check online lists of product recalls.
That's because certain models over the last decade have proven to have a tendency to burst into flames. None of those are still on sale, of course, and we'd like to hope that brands have now put their houses in order in terms of newer machines, but it's worth keeping abreast of, for very obvious reasons.